Sandal Castle – November

20/11/1272On 20th November 1272, the feast day of St Edmund the Martyr, Henry III was buried beside St Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey. His funeral was attended by his queen, Eleanor of Provence and many English magnates including Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and lord of Sandal. None of the king’s living children, Edward, Margaret, Beatrice and Edmund were even in England at this time.
22/11/1200William_I_King_of_Scots_SealIn November 1200, Hamelin de Warenne was present at Lincoln when William, King of Scotland, came to pay homage to King John and swear fealty to him.
30/11/1205On 30th November 1205, William de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal Castle, was Joint Envoy and Escort to William, King of Scotland, probably concerning preparation for discussions between William and King John over Northumberland still in English hands.
6/11/1450On 6th November 1450, Henry VI opened his parliament in London, a scene for a bitter contest between his regime and the Commons, coalescing around Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle). Allegations of maladministration, corruption and traitorous acts were being bandied around with calls for reform of government; some even pinned to the doors of Westminster Hall and St Paul’s Cathedral. Streams of embittered soldiers and dispossessed refugees from Normandy added to the turmoil. A Bristol lawyer, Thomas Young, petitioned the Commons for York to be nominated Henry’s heir.
7/11/1448Richard Duke of York's (lord of Sandal Castle) son, John, was born at Neyte (modern day Knightsbridge)  on Thursday 7th November 1448.
7/11/1485On 7th November 1485, the first Parliament of Henry VII’s reign began delegitimizing the tenure of Richard III, lord of Sandal, and twenty-eight of his supporters, by attainder. Henry insisted on dating Richard’s attainder to 21st August 1485, the day before the Battle of Bosworth, resulting in all those who had fought Richard’s cause committing treason. Excerpts from the attainder read: ‘….our sovereign lord,…..not oblivious or unmindful of the unnatural, wicked and great perjuries, treasons, homicides and murders, in shedding infants’ blood (our emphasis)…..and abominations against God and man….done by Richard, late Duke of Gloucester, calling and naming himself, by usurpation, King Richard III, ……….within the said county of Leicester…traitorously levied war against our said sovereign lord and his true subjects… the overthrow of this realm and its common weal..’
9/11/1477On 9th November 1477, Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), lord of Sandal, shortly after Edward, Prince of Wales’ seventh birthday, led the other lords of the Council in offering loyalty to the prince. After a dinner hosted in Edward’s honour, Gloucester is said to have ‘gone on both knees…put his hand between the prince’s hands…to do him homage for such lands as he had of him and so kissed him.’ Edward thanked ‘his said uncle that it liked him to do it so humbly.’
10/11/1455On 10th November 1455, Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle), was given a commission to hold a parliament, scheduled for the following day, in Henry VI’s place as he was ‘not able to be present in person at our said parliament for certain just and reasonable causes.’ Amongst other problems confronting the nation was a brutal, nearly thirty years’ conflict in Devon between William, 1st Baron Bonville and Thomas Courtenay, 13th Earl of Devon.
11/11/1451On 11th November 1451, Richard, Duke of York, lord of Sandal, met at Fotheringhay Castle in the Fens with his allies. This was interpreted by Henry VI’s supporters as a treasonous assembly plotting a coup against the king; however, it was more probably a defensive move by York against the Beauforts’ plans to arrest him.
12/11/1437On 12th November 1437, Henry VI’s Council (based on his grandfather’s in 1406) was formally re-appointed but with reduced powers meaning no important matters were to be decided without the king’s say-so and any disputes referred to Henry. Nineteen councillors were given new commissions by Henry with the Duke of Gloucester’s and Cardinal Beaufort’s names to the fore. Despite Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle) being one of the leading nobles in the realm and his successes in reversing French advances in the Pays de Caux, he was overlooked for inclusion on the Council: a harbinger of future troubles between Henry and Richard!
12/11/1453On 12th November 1453, Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle), rode into London to attend Henry VI’s ‘great council’, accompanied by his ally the Duke of Norfolk. Ostensibly, York was attending the council to unite the lords of England in a common purpose and to prepare the machinery of government in the eventuality of a long minority of Prince Edward but, in reality, he intended to bring down his rival the Duke of Somerset and bolster his own power base.
14/11/1455On 14th November 1455, three day after Parliament’s opening by Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle), a Commons’ representative, William Burley, stated that if Henry VI was incapacitated then York should be appointed to see to the defence and protection of the realm. Two days before, Burley had raised the idea of someone other than Henry as protector so that ‘such riots and injuries (as were occurring in Devon between the Bonvilles and Courtenays) would the sooner be punished, justice fully administered, and the law proceed more properly.’ The realm of England was, at this point, effectively anarchic.
15/11/1460On 15th November 1460, the Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland ordered that the gates of Durham be closed and reinforced. After the Lancastrians’ defeat at the Battle of Northampton in July 1460 and Queen Margaret’s fleeing to Wales, then Scotland, the Earls had quickly raised a large Lancastrian army (ies) in the Scottish Marches and were making their way to York and Pontefract. They had ordered Durham’s defences be bolstered as they were wary of the Scots taking advantage of their march south. As Pontefract was only nine miles from Richard, Duke of York’s lands at Sandal, Richard himself gathered a force to face the Lancastrians leading directly to the Battle of Wakefield just over six weeks later. Ironically, Durham was ‘untouched’ as Queen Margaret formed an alliance with the Scots who sent forces south to support the Lancastrians.
15/11/1461By mid November 1461, Edward IV’s first parliament had passed an Act of Attainder against thirty-six Lancastrians for their complicity in the ‘murders’ at the Battle of Wakefield the previous December. The Yorkist interpretation of the battle seemed to indicate a broken Christmas truce or the ambush of a foraging party - no one can say for sure why Richard, Duke of York, left the safety of Sandal castle with his vastly outnumbered forces to meet the Lancastrians - rather than a fair fight. A month later, the Earl of Warwick was appointed to execute the office of Steward of England at the trial of Henry VI and other rebels who had murdered the king’s father, Richard, Duke of York, at Wakefield.
17/11/1455On 17th November 1455, Richard Duke of York, owner of Sandal castle, officially began his second Protectorate. This Protectorate had actually begun following the Yorkist victory at the 1st Battle of St Albans and the capture of Henry VI on 22nd May 1455. Richard had tried to unify the lords and provide good governance, but whereas in his first Protectorate (March 1454 to February 1455), Henry VI had been totally incapacitated, during his second, York was attempting to exercise royal authority without any such urgent demand.
18/11/1453On 18th November 1453, it is believed that Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle) was one of two dukes (Somerset most likely the other) who escorted Queen Margaret from her churching bed to chapel after the birth of Prince Edward the month before. Duchess Cecily, York’s wife, had also been in attendance upon Margaret after the birth. The birth had severely constrained York’s dynastic threat to the royal family.
20/11/1459On 20th November 1459 a parliament was summoned at Coventry by Henry VI and his Lancastrian supporters. The fact that this parliament was in the heart of Lancastrian territory emphasised that the aim was to deal once and for all with the Yorkist lords. Richard Duke of York, owner of Sandal Castle, along with the Earls of Salisbury and Warwick, were not invited. At the parliament, all of the key Yorkist leaders were attainted for treason and found guilty by an Act of Parliament rather than by the basic right decreed by Magna Carta for a man to be tried by his peers.By the verdict, York and all those attainted with him, lost every title, castle, piece of land they owned and their income. At a stroke, the most powerful nobleman in the kingdom became a penniless common outlaw, along with all his allies.
23/11/1450On 23rd November 1450, Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle), arrived late to the parliament in London called by Henry VI for the 6th November. York was accompanied by his nephew, John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, and a ‘great multitude of supporters’ with a naked sword borne before them through the city’s streets. York and Norfolk had been plotting to pack parliament with their own supporters to counteract the influence of Henry’s regime embodied in Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset.
25/11/1453On 25th November 1453, the Duke of Somerset was committed to the Tower after Richard, Duke of York (lord of Sandal Castle), had orchestrated his rival’s arrest (through attacks upon Somerset in council by the Duke of Norfolk). With York’s blessing, Norfolk had accused Somerset of egregious military failures in France and Normandy: ‘For the loss of towns or castles without siege, the captains that have lost them (in the past) have been beheaded, and their goods lost’. Norfolk also implied that ‘great bribes’ had been made to some council members ‘to turn their hearts from the way of truth and justice.’
30/11/1933On 30th November 1933, a report was made by Lawrence E Tanner and Professor William Wright on bones, possibly of the murdered (?) ‘Princes in The Tower’, found in the Tower of London in 1674 under a staircase. Richard III, lord of Sandal, has, since their disappearance in late summer 1483, been implicated in their supposed deaths by many historians. The 1933 inconclusive investigation, without the benefit of modern DNA analysis, concluded: ‘..there is a reasonable probability that the traditional story of the murder, as told by (Sir Thomas) More is in its main outlines true….the elder child…probably died a violent death… (his age) somewhere between the ages of twelve and thirteen…there was nothing to suggest how the younger child met his death.’ Whenever, if ever, the bones are authenticated as being those of Edward V and his younger brother, Richard of York, the mystery of their disappearance and deaths still remains.